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Palgrave Macmillan

Great Power Peace and American Primacy

The Origins and Future of a New International Order

ISBN 9781137299475
Publication Date January 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in International Relations

From the turn of the 15th century until the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the great powers frequently fought wars or regularly stood on the precipice of conflict. In contrast, for more than fifty years we have lived through an unprecedented period of great power peace. This book advances a theory of change based on the Realist tradition and uses it to explain the transformation of great power politics from centuries of warfare and multipolarity to a time of peace and American primacy.

Challenging conventional wisdom about the causes of American primacy, Baron explores the contributions to peace made by democracy, nuclear weapons and globalization as well as the continued relevance of the balance of power. Providing new insights into major debates within the policy community, this book examines America's forward military presence, Western policy towards China and Russia, the evolution of the European Union and Japan's role in Asia.

Baron raises important questions surrounding American primacy and the durability of the current international order, informing policy-making in the coming years as the United States attempts to manage the rise of China and secure its own leadership role and also considering how to maintain the current state of peace.

Joshua Baron is a researcher, lecturer, and consultant on international and interpersonal conflict. He advises groups on how to achieve and maintain healthy levels of conflict. His work has been published by, among others, Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, and International Studies Review.

Introduction: Seasons of Darkness and Light
1. The Transformation of Great Power Politics
2. A Theory of Order: Explaining Change in International Politics
3. A Season of Light: The Balance of Power and the Westphalian Order
4. A Fifty Years' Crisis: The Collapse of the Westphalian Order and the Path to Total War
5. Dawn of a New Day: The Rise of the American Order
6. Getting MAD and Even: Nuclear Weapons, Bipolarity, and a New Kind of Rivalry
7. Balance of Power and Its Critics: The Limitations of Current Paradigms
8. Preserving Peace in the 21st Century: Thought and Action in a Newly-Ordered World
Conclusion: The Need for Vigilance and Sacrifice


"Joshua Baron has a profound understanding of how power works and how to make it work better. In Great Power Peace and American Primacy, he advances prophetic, provocative, and worldly arguments about the future of political order, stability, and peace. This is top-notch work on a grand scale by a formidable and ingenious thinker." - Joseph M. Parent, University of Miami, USA
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